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Big brother is watchin' joo

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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:00 pm    Post subject: Big brother is watchin' joo Reply with quote

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

But ministers want to target 20,000 more in the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000 – a potential total bill of £400million.

Ministers hope the move will reduce the number of youngsters who get drawn into crime because of their chaotic family lives, as portrayed in Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless.

Sin bin projects operate in half of council areas already but Mr Balls wants every local authority to fund them.

He said: “This is pretty tough and non-negotiable support for families to get to the root of the problem. There should be Family Intervention Projects in every local authority area because every area has families that need support.”

But Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is all much too little, much too late.

“This Government has been in power for more than a decade during which time anti-social behaviour, family breakdown and problems like alcohol abuse and truancy have just got worse and worse.”


As an ex-Brit, I’m well aware of the authorities’ love of surveillance and snooping, but even I, a pessimistic cynic, am amazed by the governments latest plan: to install Orwell’s telescreens in 20,000 homes.

£400 million ($668 million) will be spend on installing and monitoring CCTV cameras in the homes of private citizens.
Why? To make sure the kids are doing their homework, going to bed early and eating their vegetables. The scheme has, astonishingly, already been running in 2,000 family homes. The government’s “children’s secretary” Ed Balls is behind the plan, which is aimed at problem, antisocial families. The idea is that, if a child has a more stable home life, he or she will be less likely to stray into crime and drugs.

It gets worse. The government is also maintaining a private army, incredibly not called “Thought Police”, which will “be sent round to carry out home checks,” according to the Sunday Express. And in a scheme which firmly cements the nation’s reputation as a “nanny state”, the kids and their families will be forced to sign “behavior contracts” which will “set out parents’ duties to ensure children behave and do their homework.”
And remember, this is the left-wing government. The Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling, batting for the conservatives, thinks these plans are “too little, and too late,” implying that even more obtrusive work needs to be done. Rumors that a new detention center, named Room 101, is being constructed inside the Ministry of Love are unconfirmed.


You know I can think of a couple of other possible reason there are social order problems; and they have nothing to do with the absence of TV cameras in private homes.

  • They've trivialised the justice system. Seriously I know someone who kicked an old man half to death, six months. Six months. The rest of that old man's life is ruined. Law and order? *snerk* The war on drugs has created a massive free supply of money, the lax borders and relatively easy yet illegal immigration has brought with it massive supplies of illegal firearms. The police don't even come into the estate anymore half the time, they wait until any chance of trouble has left and then sweep through in their cars to pick up the bits. Whether that’s a conscious decision on their part or because people are unlikely to call them is anyone else's guess.

  • They've set the education system up to teach people without including justice in those teachings. If you're a bully and beat someone up then you've been very naughty, take a few weeks off to enjoy yourself. Quite asides from the obvious morale problems that are introduced in teaching students to memorise largely trivial information and then making that the measure by which their future is determined. And now they pretend to be all surprised when people don't behave themselves.

We don't teach responsibility anymore. And I know that makes me sound like an annoying old man, but I feel I’ve got just cause. (Then again so does almost everyone who moans I guess.)

<_<; *waves stick*

Even if they stick these things in someone’s home what’re the gov going to do? Watch, send the old ineffective brigade around. I have great misgivings about the rehab programs they use for this kind of thing, social disorder that is, and the kinds of people involved. Largely because I’ve seen people go through them, and more to the point fail to go through them.

We’ve provided people with a sense of entitlement by birth and when we punish people it's a small thing and always at a distance to the wrong they have committed. Is it any wonder they learn to act out? If you taught an animal like that they'd be insane. When they finally do run afoul of the law in a major way people go, ‘How did that happen? There were no warning signs!’ Yeah right. The pathology of criminal behaviour has and always will be the impulses we all feel taken to the extremes and removed of the limiting influences of the compassion they should have been taught by discipline and the violence of other more socially minded individuals. It is selfishness, taken to a psychotic extreme, and it doesn't just happen overnight.

We need a more holistic approach to reforming the values we teach within society, and I'm just not seeing how this is really going to help very many people. So because a section of the population conforms to those teachings we get this sort of nonsense; TV cameras in peoples’ homes. It's a coin toss in my mind between whether this is something done on purpose or just an unfourtunate mistake.

I doubt enough people will care to do something about it though though. It's 20,000 out of a few million. Do it quietly, a bit at a time; justify it under anti-social behaviour restraint. If it gets defeated the first time you try to put it through then you take the bits that were going to go into it, split them up and tack them onto other laws. A few people will talk, for a short while, and then it will probably be forgotten. That's how you make this kind of thing work: softly softly, a bit at a time.

England has always been a little bit ugly internationally. Going to be an interesting few years coming up internally though I think.

Maybe I'm just overly cynical, maybe I'm just paranoid. I mean I realise I tend to look at the world in much more: Predator / Prey terms than most people. But I also know the kind of people they're talking about, the kind of people who don't come home for days after a big fight incase someone decides to follow them and knife them in an alley. I find it hard to believe that sticking TV cameras in their homes and sending people to have a sit down and a chat every so often is going to help any; I can't help but assign somewhat darker motives to it.

*Twilight zone music* ^_^;
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this whole thing scares me. I'm not gonna lie. It reminds me very much of V for Vendetta... except the people in V aren't monitored in their homes 24/7, rather they just have sweeps done of their home.

I agree with the fact that people aren't responsible or moral or whatever you want to call it. To be honest, it seems that every generation of kids seems to get lazier and much more mean.

The whole doing it in small sections is very smart though, but I mean, wouldn't people want to nip it before it gets very much bigger? I mean today it's just a few homes, but how can they be certain it will stay that way? If the gov. begins to think it is working won't they want to implement it into other homes as well to engineer model citizens? Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it all seems a little shifty to me.
I can't remember....oh *le sigh*
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well there's the problem I think: are they really thinking of it or are they just testing the waters by throwing something to a tabloid and seeing how it touches off? Would it be a case of '2,000 homes, 20,000 homes, 200,000, everyone?' Or would they be on the level with it? Not that if they were it would make it a good idea.

I'm really sceptical of the thing. (Oh I've no doubt someone has plans like that. There are people employed just to sit around and think up plans. But whether someone seriously intends to try and implement them.) The two links I posted are pretty much all I can find on it and the tabloids get used a lot to test out people's likely reactions to things, see what kind of backlash there is. If it looks too bad then every now and then you'll get something released in a watered down form.

Then again I know of things I'd have expected to make major news; the police radio system expenses for instance; that never seemed to feature on the news but were really significant. Information is really heavily segregated in some things. 'tis tricksey to work out what the people in charge are up to when you can't go and see for yourself. When you get down to it most of the information we have about what goes on in the country comes from writting on a bit of paper handed out by the gov or one of their agencies. That kind of reality is very malleable.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh boy. I just read that book a week ago, too. 0_0

This is an extreme violation of privacy and I'm not okay with it at all. That is not the way to "change their bad behaviour". No.

EDIT: Nem, your second link added this:
Nem's second link wrote:
UPDATE: Further research shows that the Express didn’t quite have all its facts straight. This scheme is active, and the numbers are fairly accurate (if estimated), but the mentions of actual cameras in people’s homes are exaggerated. The truth is that the scheme can take the most troublesome families out of their homes and move them, temporarily, to a neutral, government-run compound. Here they will be under 24-hour supervision. CCTV cameras are not specifically mentioned, not are they denied, but 24-hour “supervision” certainly doesn’t rule this out from the camera-loving Brits.

It remains, though, that this is still excessively intrusive into the private lives of citizens, cameras or not. I have added links to the source and also more reliable reports. Thanks to everyone who wrote in.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem, for once I agree with you 100%. Usually I agree with you in principle if not in execution, but in this case, I'm in total agreement. I have of nothing of substance to add that others can't say better, but this is very sobering.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tamir wrote:
This is an extreme violation of privacy and I'm not okay with it at all. That is not the way to "change their bad behaviour". No.

Is there a way to do that?

And "slaughter them and start over" does not count.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This frightens me. And appalls me. There's some disbelief mixed in as well. What politician came up with this? Whoever it is... they have some serious issues. Either they're ridiculously naive, incredibly stupid, or so diabolical as to be sickening...

Doesn't really matter. The end result would be the same. Basically, the end of happiness in the world.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, somehow I missed this thread earlier.

Well, it doesn't surprise me terribly to see this kind of initiative come from the British government and law enforcement types. They loves their cameras, despite the fact that the cameras have little effect on the behavior of criminals.

If they're THAT concerned about the children in these families, though, then they ought to just take the kids and place them with foster parents.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is all well-intentioned, but violates SO many rights on SO many different levels. Holy crap, I couldn't imagine being one of those folks under surveillance. And who gets to decide what's "right" under conditions like that? It's such an arbitrary, subjective thing...
"Be great in act, as you have been in thought." ~William Shakespeare

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off: Jaw drop.
Second: Gotta agree with Darkwing here. Are these people really going to come over and do something if the kid stops eating his/her carrots? Or stays up fifteen minutes? Where is the line? Money being spent doesn't make sense without reasonable implementation. And this...looks like a government floundering for what they think the public will think should work, not what will work.

Being watched is scary. This is "okay, you were born here, so now we're taking you to a government compound and watching you to make sure you grow up according to pla--er, grow up right." Speaking of, where's the line for who's at risk? If it's, say, low-income, history of mental disease, how low-income, how much history? This whole thing is just so...1984, V for Vendetta, take your pick.

I agree with the fact that people aren't responsible or moral or whatever you want to call it. To be honest, it seems that every generation of kids seems to get lazier and much more mean.

People have said things along the lines of "The future generation will destroy this world" since Socrates' time, and doubtless before. It's like people who say the world will end tomorrow. Please don't blame us just because we're kids. We may not have finished growing, but most of us are trying. Dislike the people, not the group.

On a different note, did anyone else hear "Anyone who will trade freedom for security deserves neither." (Benjamin Franklin) Or [paraphrased] "The only way to create slavery is a little at a time, for the loss of freedom is so great that no man will willingly lose it all at once." (?) in their head while reading?

(Apologies for the long-windedness)
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